Most people would be foolish to turn down a million dollars, but not Anthony Seibold. He would be an idiot to take it.
Word out of Brisbane is that the Broncos have offered the under-siege coach a million bucks to finish up his troubled tenure and that Seibold is likely to accept the offer.
One way to look at it is as free money – take a seven-figure payout and don’t worry about turning up to work again.
But reputable outlets have the former Souths mentor on a deal worth $800,000 a year, with four years to run – three guaranteed, with the final 12 months in his favour.
That’s a total of $3.2 million.
Now, I’m not an accountant, but even this hack has enough financial acumen to notice that $3.2 million is substantially more than the $1 million on the table.
So another way of looking at the Broncos’ offer is that it is less than a third of what Seibold is actually owed, with no guarantee of a job to follow, at a time when the world is staring into the financial abyss.
With the Broncos failing to insert any performance clauses into Seibold’s deal, the fact his tenure has been an unmitigated disaster on the field has no bearing on whether he can keep his gig.
As long as the 45-year-old continues to turn up and do his job, no matter how poorly his players do theirs, Seibold is well within his rights to tell Brisbane, “No, I’ll just see out the next four years as per the deal I struck with this $50 million per year organisation.”
In fact, the Red Hill club turns over slightly more than 50 mill per year – according to their 2019 annual report (released on February 24 this year): “The group recorded gross revenue for the 2019 financial year of $51,935,967 which is a 0.3% increase on 2018.”
In that same report, CEO Paul White thanked Seibold “for his relentless efforts throughout his first season”.
“Anthony has brought to this club a new approach to the way we want to play,” White wrote.
For his part, club chairman Karl Morris wrote, “It is encouraging to see the progress made by our coach, Anthony Seibold. We are very confident in his approach to form an environment for the on-field success of our club.”
So just six months ago – almost to the day – the CEO and chairman were telling shareholders how stoked they were on the new coach and how they had the utmost confidence in his approach.
Now they are desperate to see the back of him.
And of course they are – the 2020 season has been a complete shit-fight (one that has been outlined ad nauseam, so I won’t rehash it here).
But the fact Seibold was given a long-term deal with no KPIs to ensure a shit-fight season would have consequences seems entirely the fault of the board and executive that put it together.
Why should Anthony Seibold be punished for signing it?
Obviously, given the vile rumours that did the rounds about the coach coupled with his recent time away from the club to deal with a family issue, there are other factors at play that would have Seibold leaning towards taking the easy way out – and I don’t mean that as a dig at him, simply that walking away with a million bucks is the definition of an easy way out.
But in this instance, he should definitely, definitely play the long game.
Because it’ll be six weeks longer, tops.
Broncos fans don’t know how to take losing the way they have this year and as a result, the coach’s position has become untenable. That much is clear.
When the club holds its year-end review, they will come to the conclusion that their abysmal season is the coach’s fault and he needs to go. At which point his payout will be substantially more than $1 million.
Now I’m not a lawyer either (although I have dropped out of a law degree twice thank you very much), but with no performance clause in his deal, Seibold would be well within his rights to say, “I’m not in breach, so I’m owed my full freight.”
Especially since the chairman and CEO told stakeholders as recently as February this year that Seibold was bringing a new approach to the club that would “form an environment for the on-field success of our club” – wording that suggests said environment for success was not present.
Solicitors get involved, it gets messy and drags on for months – but hey, it’s not like Seibold would have anything else to do.
Because this is going to be his last head coaching gig for a while, possibly ever.
He took the hottest young roster in the comp and turned them into the worst Broncos team in the proud club’s history. There’s a strong chance he will lead Brisbane to their first-ever wooden spoon.
The coaching merry-go-round might be in full spin but when it’s all settled for 2021, Seibold will not have a job as head coach. His best chance is by serving another ‘apprenticeship’ as an assistant.
Maybe he’ll earn another shot, like Anthony Griffin.
But maybe he’ll disappear, like Ivan Henjak.
The only guarantee is what’s written in black and white on his contract.
I doubt he’ll get all $3.2 million, but by getting pushed instead of jumping, he’ll get a lot more of it than the $1 million on the table at the moment.